Sometimes keeping the old, just because it has “always been there or always has been that way”, is not a good excuse. It leaves you open to loss of heat, devaluing your resources and in every instance is just poor management. This is true in everything from businesses who won’t change management styles in the face of gossip, employee disfranchisement and poor project management all the way to a home owners who don’t put their own personal touch on projects out of fear. Today we are going to close one door and open a new one.

Take the old door off the hinges, in our case someone used a hollow door for an exterior door, which is why we had to get it replaced. However, our difficulty was that the door opening was not standard height of 80 inches. The door was on 74 inches in height. So, our first trick was to find an old door at Habitat for Humanity, that also had a window. This took multiple trips and weeks of return visits sifting through countless doors with a tape measure to find one.

However, God has always helped me, and this project was no different.
Once we had the door, we marked the bottom of the door and cut it with a circular saw, then sanded the edges of the door a little bit and ease the edges with a block plane.

Next, we primed the bottom of the door with some paint to protect the raw wood.
The we measured out the hinges, and rehung the door. Luckily, we had a good quality threshold already, so there was no need for a change.

Things to keep in mind:

Just be sure that you do not buy a door that has the lockset hole(s) already drilled and the hinge locations already cut out. More than likely they will not be in the correct places.

Before you do any cutting, take a good look at the existing door and how it sits in the opening. Look at the gaps all around and the clearances when opening and closing.

When you buy a used door, it may have been cut, so, I would remove the existing door, make a note for the positioning of the bevel, and lay the new door on top of some sawhorses, and lay the old door on top, aligning the hinge edge and the top corner of the doors (on the hinge side). With the doors stacked like this, you can transfer marks for hinges, the handle and lockset. Then just look at the rest of the edges…how the tops are together, if they stay flush, etc. If the old door sat in the opening just fine, then use it to mark the new one. If it’s only the height, I would take it off the bottom edge.

Whenever you reuse an old door, always assume nothing will line up. That just goes with the territory when remolding a home.



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